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‘A great man, a great leader, and a great friend': Former Red Sox exec Larry Lucchino dies at 78

He served as the team's president and CEO for 14 years, from 2002 through 2015, a period during which Boston won three World Series

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Former Boston Red Sox executive Larry Lucchino has died, the team confirmed Tuesday. He was 78 years old.

Lucchino served as the team's president and CEO for 14 years, from 2002 through 2015, a period during which the Red Sox won three World Series. He helped bring together the group led by John Henry and Tom Werner that purchased the team in 2001. He most recently served as chairman and principal owner of the Worcester Red Sox.

“We are heartbroken to share that our beloved brother and uncle, Lawrence Lucchino, passed away on April 2 surrounded by his family. The Lucchino family wishes to thank his friends and caregivers who, over the past few months, have surrounded him with love, laughter, and happy memories," the Lucchino family said in a statement shared by the Red Sox.

He also served as chairman of the Jimmy Fund, the philantropic arm of the Dana-Farber Cancer Insititute. He was a three-time cancer survivor.

"Larry’s career unfolded like a playbook of triumphs, marked by transformative moments that reshaped ballpark design, enhanced the fan experience, and engineered the ideal conditions for championships wherever his path led him, and especially in Boston,” Henry said in a statement. “Yet, perhaps his most enduring legacy lies in the remarkable people he helped assemble at the Red Sox, all of whom are a testament to his training, wisdom, and mentorship. Many of them continue to shape the organization today, carrying forward the same vigor, vitality, and cherished sayings that were hallmarks of Larry’s personality. "

"Larry was a formidable opponent in any arena, and while he battled hard, he always maintained the utmost respect for a worthy adversary and found genuine joy in sparring with people. I was lucky enough to have had him in my corner for 14 years and to have called him a close friend for even longer. He was truly irreplaceable and will be missed by all of us at the Red Sox.”

Werner said when he and Henry joined forces with Lucchino in 2001, they dreamed not only of breaking an 86-year curse and winning multiple championships, but also how a baseball team could transform and uplift a region.

“Larry was more decorated in sports than any of us, coming to the group with a Super Bowl ring, a World Series ring, and even a Final Four watch from his days playing basketball at Princeton. He added to that impressive collection with us in Boston because he was the kind of man who would find a path to success no matter the obstacles. He was bold and had the audacity to dare, challenge, and even taunt our rivals in ways that made the game of baseball better," Werner added. "In a sport defined by statistics and standings, he was accomplished in every way, and while his career is a masterclass in leadership and innovation, he will be equally remembered for his unwavering commitment to community engagement and his hands-on role with the Red Sox Foundation and The Jimmy Fund. We are devasted by the loss of a great man, a great leader, and a great friend.”

Before joining the Red Sox, Lucchino served as president of the Baltimore Orioles from 1988-1993 and president and CEO of the San Diego Padres from 1995-2001.

According to the Red Sox website, Lucchino was born in Pittsburgh, where he was was an All-City League basketball player and second baseman on the Pittsburgh city championship baseball team. He graduated with honors from Princeton University and then graduated from Yale Law School. At Princeton, he was a member of two Ivy League championship basketball teams.

Lucchino went on to Yale Law School and worked on the House Judiciary Committee investigating the Watergate scandal. He landed a job with Washington lawyer Edward Bennett Williams and soon found himself working on Williams’ sports teams, the Washington NFL franchise and the Orioles.

He held nine honorary degrees from Suffolk University, Boston University, Bryant University, New England School of Law, Anna Maria College, Palomar College, the University of Massachusetts Boston, Bentley University, and Assumption University.

Lucchino was inducted into the Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame in May 2012, the National Italian-American Sports Hall of Fame and the Taylor Allderdice High School Hall of Fame in November 2013, the Boston Red Sox Hall of Fame in May 2016, and the San Diego Padres Hall of Fame in July 2022.

He is survived by his brother Frank J. Lucchino, nephew F.J. Lucchino and niece Jennifer Lucchino, of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, as well as a younger nephew David L. Lucchino, who lives in Boston. He also is survived by seven grand-nieces and grand-nephews. 

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Larry Lucchino Family Fund at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and the Jimmy Fund, P.O. Box 849168, Boston, MA 02284, or online at

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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